Saturday, May 15, 2010

Better educated parents vaccinate their children less/ Canadian Press

From Helen Branswell at the Canadian Press:
It might seem counterintuitive but it also appears to be true:  Parents with more education were less likely to get their daughters vaccinated against HPV during the first year of British Columbia's free school-based program, a new study shows.  
The finding of the study, published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Medicine, adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests vaccination efforts are being eroded not by people who are under-educated, but by upper-middle class folks with degrees...
The study comes on the tail of another published Tuesday which showed that there has been a sharp increase in the percentage of U.S. parents who are refusing to vaccinate their children or delaying vaccination against the advice of the medical community.  That study, presented at an international conference in Vancouver, found 39 per cent of parents refused or delayed vaccinations for their children in 2008, up from 22 per cent in 2003...
The HPV study was conducted primarily by researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and the University of British Columbia. The group surveyed parents of Grade 6 girls who had been eligible to get HPV or human papillomavirus vaccine through a free, school-based program in B.C. in the 2008-09 school year.
[How generous of the government:  giving 11 year old girls a $300 vaccine for an STD.  Was it free to British Columbia taxpayers?  How was it decided to vaccinate such young children with a vaccine whose (uncertain degree of) protection wanes in a few years?  Did this decision come from the same brain trust that decided to vaccinate newborn babies with Hepatitis B vaccine, when hepatitis B is another primarily sexually transmitted disease,  for which protection also wanes over time?--Nass]
Nearly half (47.9 per cent) of those who let their daughters get HPV shots said they did so because they had confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccine. Advice from a doctor and concern for the health of the daughter also played into yes decisions. Among the parents who said no, concern about vaccine safety was listed as the major reason for the decision (29.2 per cent). A substantial portion — 15.6 per cent — felt their daughters were too young to get the vaccine and listed that as their major reason.

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